PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Israel’s national soccer team arrived in Kosovo on Friday amid tight airport security ahead of a postponed European Championship qualifier.
The team’s two buses were escorted by several police vehicles and armed officers as it left the airport.
EXTRA-PALESTINIAN PROTESTER SET ISRAELI FLAG ON FIRE AT NYC PROTESTER, DRINKS IT
Strict security measures were also in place at the hotel where the team was staying ahead of Sunday’s match. The police established a security perimeter at the hotel that the public and journalists were not allowed to pass.
The Israel Football Federation posted video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing players getting off the team bus on the way to Israel’s airport to take cover on the side of the road, apparently amid rocket fire.
“Nothing will stop us on our way to Euro 2024,” the federation wrote.
It is the first match played by Israel since the October 7 attack by Hamas and the ongoing war in Gaza. It was originally scheduled for October 15.
Israel are third in Group I of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, behind Romania and Switzerland, but with two games in hand. They have never qualified for a European Championship since joining UEFA in 1994, and will now have to play four games in 10 days in their pursuit.
Kosovo and Israel decided to establish diplomatic ties at a Kosovo-Serbia summit in the United States, held at the White House in September 2020 by then US President Donald Trump.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Kosovo was the first European country and the first Muslim-majority country to establish its embassy in Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv, after the US and Guatemala.
Israel is the latest country to recognize Kosovo after the Pristina parliament declared independence from Serbia in 2008.